All That’s Gold Doesn’t Glitter in Apple’s First TV Ad for the iPhone 5S

Follows 5C spots

Apple's ads haven't been the gold standard for a while, and "Metal Mastered," the first TV spot for the iPhone 5S—following several for the 5C—won't make anyone think different.

The 30-second commercial, which broke Sunday during Fox's NFL coverage, shows liquid gold forming into an iPhone. "Ohh La La" by Goldfrapp, which has been used in ads for other brands, including Motorola, plays on the soundtrack. This is apparently an edited version of a video shown at the big iPhone unveiling last month. On the one hand, it's a good-looking piece of work, and it scores by reminding folks that the iPhone 5S comes in gold (jokingly dubbed "The Kardashian Phone" by some Apple employees), and by dropping the oft-derided tagline "Designed by Apple in California" that graced some recent ads. Still, such swirling-fluid imagery is nothing new. It would look equally at home in spots for chocolate, cola, motor oil, liquor or Velveeta.

Overall, "Metal Mastered" feels like a quickie placeholder tossed into the mix while the company and its lead agency, TBWA\Media Arts Lab, strive to unlock the deeper magic of the brand.